A wildlife documentary crew has made an astonishing discovery on a remote and uninhabited island in the Northern Territory: a castaway fisherman.
Presenter Jeremey Wade and the crew of Animal Planet’s River Monsters were on a trip to find a species of fish, the Queensland Groper, when they found the Borroloola man in desperate need of help.
“This guy with no clothes was running out of the cave, waving his arms out," one of the five crew members, Stephen Shearman, told Inside Edition.
The fisherman, known as Tremine, had become separated from his boat in the waters of Barranyi North Island, two days before the crew arrived.
He was 60 miles from the nearest township, becoming increasingly disoriented in temperatures topping 40C, and he was unable to find his vessel.
“With every hour that passed his chances of survival diminished,” Mr Wade said. “One more day on the beach and he would have died.”
In incredible footage, the crew’s shock is clear as they set the camera rolling to capture the unfolding drama.
A man just ahead of them is battling to stay afloat as he waves and calls to them.
Speaking to the camera, Wade says the film crew had spotted a cooler on the deserted island, then a man.
“He immediately came down to the water and he’s yelling out, ‘give me a drink, give me a drink,’” Wade says.
Tremine told the crew how he had searched turtle nests heaped with empty bottles for any drop of water, but could find none.
“He had said his last prayer,” Shearman said. “He was prepared to die and meet his maker.”
The rescue took place last November but the episode only aired this month.
The crew has since been in touch with Tremine, who stayed with them the night of the rescue as they helped him to rehydrate, and found “he was back to normal”.
However, Sherman told Inside Edition the brush with death had prompted the fisherman to make a bizarre commitment.
“[H]e's promised God he's going to start smoking again. If he had a lighter, he'd be able to cook, and he'd have a fire," Shearman said.
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